We all have cravings here and there, and some phases seem to last longer than most. I’m a natural sweet-tooth, so I just generally will crave chocolate regardless whether I am in my cycle or not. It’s usually pretty easy to justify why we should get what we want but hopefully this entry will help us understand why we crave certain things and what we should do to nip it in the bud.
You might have heard it said before that if you’re feeling hunger pangs, take a drink of water. Usually we’re not hungry; we’re just thirsty. The same is true for cravings because dehydration is what triggers most of them. When your body is significantly lacking in hydration, you will feel strong craving for food. I have learned to ask myself whether I’m really hungry or just need a tall glass of cold water, and usually, the water helps hit the spot.
3 Kinds of Cravings
Nutrients Our body knows what it needs but it’s up to us to decipher what it is and how to get it. Many women crave sweets or chocolate during or before their menstrual cycles (and that struggle is real, I tell ya!) because raw chocolate is high in magnesium and we need more of that to support our cycles.
Balance The way our bodies were designed, it naturally seeks balance (it generates heat when you’re cold, or cools the body when in a high-temp environment). If you take in expansive substances like coffee and sugar, your body will then crave contractive substances such as savoury food (salty) and cheese (oh I love cheese!). If you want to achieve balance, make sure to consume more neutral foods like veggies, nuts, seeds, and fruit because they provide a spectrum of nutrients that your body needs. It’ll help you from seesawing from one extreme to another.
Emotional I bet many women are nodding their heads at this portion. We are all too familiar with emotional cravings. The culprit is usually a bad breakup, but there are other stressors too that can cause emotional eating. There’s no quick and easy fix to this except to be honest with yourself and reflect on whether you’re eating your emotions away or if you’re actually satisfying hunger for real food and nutrition.
Here’s a nifty little chart I found from Make Your Body Work. It shows you what healthier option you ought to eat when you’re craving something either sweet or salty.